70 In Faith/ Life

‘Round Here

It’s been a very busy and productive weekend ’round here. We’ve been pressing on with the outside of the house. On Friday my house smelled like a pumpkin spice candle, paint, and saw dust! It was a lovely combination.

There were two guys here installing new doors. 
frontdoors

The one pictured here was a jokester. He would say things like, “Mam’, are you going for the castle look?” And then he would snicker and laugh. I didn’t exactly know how to respond to a question like that. He was referring to my new lights; I really didn’t think they “castle-ish” but apparently he did.  Anyway, they did their job and got the doors in and they are SO much better than the originals.

 doors1

If anything is “castle-ish”, I would say it would be our old doors and hardware. Of course, he went on and on about how much he liked them! 🙂

We had the same 4-lite door installed at our side door too.

door1

Since these were taken on Friday, the doors have been painted and the hardware installed.

A few weeks ago the front of our house looked more like this.

front

It had a very “original to the house” look. The house has had 2 additions and in both additions the previous owners apparently couldn’t match the brick. The garage was the worst… it was very peach and the rest of the house had black bricks in it.

You can see clearly in this picture of Rover that the garage brick {on R} was very different from the house brick {behind Rover}.

housebefore2

Painting the house has been on the agenda for 2 years and I’m thrilled that it’s now complete and much more uniform.

Out front, Justin used the tractor to remove the iron handrail you see here behind John Martin {sniff sniff… Kipper please come back!}.

 frontwithkipper

Once the railing was down we added a step. My sister-in-law conveniently had the bricks in her backyard! Score!

steps 
steps2

The new step will be painted tomorrow.

I’ve been torturing myself over the window mullions. They were all “light gold” which was the original color of the trim. I haven’t worked on any of the ones you see above yet but in the last few days I’ve been slaving over the ones below. My goal was for the “outside” side {the side that faces the window glass} of the mullions to be brown to match the trim and keep the other 3 sides white… did you know such an endeavor could drive a woman to drink?

windowmullions

Dear friends, it took me 4 hours to tape off the window mullions in the center bay window alone. 4 hours. That was with Rover’s help. Without his help the other bay window {there’s another one identical to this one} took 3.5 hours to tape off. But I am done, with both big windows and the windows adjacent {which in this picture haven’t been installed yet}. For those of you who may have no idea what I’m talking about, those brown lines above are “window mullions” and they pop out in one giant, fragile, wooden grate. And I painted one side, trying my very hardest not to get brown paint on the inside side because our trim inside the house is white, not brown. And when I was done with these bay windows I broke into Handel’s Messiah with lots of loud “Halleluiahs”!

I’ll be back soon with sources, paint colors, etc.

While we’re on the topic of house renovations… do any of you get a channel called DIY Network? I probably should have asked sooner because they’ve already aired a show twice called Bathtastic that features our ORANGE BATHROOM renovation.  It will be on one more time: Friday, Sept. 18 at 9:30 pm and 1:30 am! The show is titled “Old Hollywood!” Isn’t that perfect for that orange bathroom? Anyway, if you get the channel {we don’t}, tune in. Has anyone happened to see it yet?

Now, I’m going to make a very drastic subject change to prayer. From house renovating to PRAYER… just like that. Our Associate Pastor is teaching our Sunday school class and going through a book called A Praying Life . I don’t have the book {yet} but his lesson this morning was on “Learning to Be Helpless”.  Basically Paul Miller {the author} says that prayer is taking our helplessness to Jesus, admiting that we cannot fix things on our own. I know my prayer life suffers because so often I am not weak before the Father. Instead of coming to him in weakness and helplessness I either don’t come to him at all or ask for “help to keep it all together” when in reality I have nothing together at all. He says that strong Christians pray more not because they’re more disciplined but because they more aware of and recognize their own weakness. Weakness is the channel that allows them to access grace. Edith Schaeffer {author and wife of Frances Schaeffer} was asked, “Who is the greatest Christian woman alive today?” She replied, “We don’t know her name. She is dying of cancer somewhere in a hospital in India.” Miller says, “I’m talking about that woman. Underneath her obedient life is a sense of helplessness. It has become part of her very nature… almost like breathing. Why? Because she is weak. She can feel her restless heart, her tendancy to compare herself to others. She is shocked at how jealousy can well up in her. She notices how easily the world gets its hooks into her. In short, she distrusts herself. When she looks at other people, she sees the same struggles. The world, the flesh and the devil are too much for her. The result? Her heart cries out to God in prayer. She needs Jesus.”

I need what this woman has, not the cancer and hospital bed in India. I want her sense of helplessness, I taste of it regularly but I don’t breathe it. Too often I trust myself. The lesson this morning was about praying, not blogging but I couldn’t help but think about what is my purpose in all of this? I think about it a lot. What makes me think that any of you actually care that I took my handrail down out front of my house or that I painted my brick because it didn’t match. In general, blogging does not provoke a poor spirit or a spirit of helplessness.  I just want to be completely honest with you all that I struggle with this on a regular basis. I sit down to type a post and think is this for His glory or my own? And sometimes I can’t tell. But if I daily came here and told you how rotten I am, how I walk around in the world look at people, compare myself to others, judge others, get frustrated with my children and husband {and yell at them} it would be a very different blog. I guess, I always want to be clear that I am a big sinner, that my hope is in Christ, that in my own strength I can do nothing but I have a Savior who is bigger than my sinful self. I share my interests and hobbies with you and it is my prayer that my conversations will always be seasoned with salt…. that you can taste of the goodness of Christ and be encouraged.

And to once again change subjects … Marla will be here later this afternoon with the answers to your questions!

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  • Joy Cronauer
    September 14, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Darby,

    Just got out of bed…who knew after my little tot was weaned I’d have insomnia! Thanks for this post. You so clearly wrote something that has been troubling for me too. Friday night I wrote a post that I was afraid was very “negative.” Then got up Sat. am only to delete it off my blog. =) But then I reposted it today. (No, I am not crazy just suffering from motherhood of four…with the littlest acting as though he and Rover were cut fromt the same cloth). =)

    Someone once said, your blog can be like a Christmas card where you have the liberty to edit out all the bad stuff that occured. That’s not my aim. I want to be real with my struggles but don’t want to dwell in the negative. Such a delicate balance. I love your blog and find it inspiring and honest…that’s what makes it interesting.

    I have said it before thanks for sharing your talents, but also thank you so much for sharing your faith!

    Take care,
    Joy

  • Lillian @ Domestic Simplicity
    September 14, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Loving the renovations of the outside – can’t wait to see more!! And another thank you for sharing your faith:)

  • Grace
    September 14, 2009 at 5:59 am

    What a beautiful and honest post. You’ve tapped in to what I think we all feel sometimes – whether we’re conscious of it or not. So thank you for that.

    Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you’re doing with the house. I adore painted brick (don’t ask me why, just have always loved it) and I can’t wait to see photos of your home when it’s finished. Also, removing the handrail and adding a step? Genius!!

  • Erika Ward
    September 14, 2009 at 6:28 am

    I love your transparency regarding this topic. I tell you coming before the Lord in all my weakness has allowed me to be stronger than I ever thought possible. It’s allowed me to serve my household AND run a business, something I thought I could never do while while parenting 3 kids under 3. My sanity is preserved and my husband thinks I’m gold (he does know it’s the Christ in me). Aside from laying my weaknesses at his feet, I also do a lot of praising and thanking Him for the privilege to worship Him and experience His grace…Anyhoo, not to leave a post in your comment section…I’m going to run along now…Love the new paint!

  • Lindsay
    September 14, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Darby – I think that you have a wonderful balance of light-heartnedness and honest truth in your blog. I think it is important to blog honestly about your shortcomings as a Christ-follower and your desire for real change. But I think that you should also know that when you post about the crafts you do with your children, or the sweet outfits you are working on, that also shows your dedication to being a mother and steward of your resources, and I think that those things honor the Lord as well.
    With that being said…if my husband ever said to me “let’s move somewhere an buy a house” my response would be “we’re going to Alabama to buy a house like Darby and re-doing it just like hers!” I love what you have done, you have a such a talent!
    Lindsay

  • alison g. (brazil)
    September 14, 2009 at 7:31 am

    …And this is why we keep coming back for more – the grace and honesty with which you convey everyday”isms”

    The house looks amazing, I can’t wait to see more!

    I can’t believe your bath is featured on the DIY channel (well, actually, I CAN!) That is so great!

    and lastly…am CHOMPING at the bit for Marla’s sage photog advice!!!

    Blessings, mi amiga!

  • Allyson
    September 14, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Hey there D! I really agree with the comment above that it is your honesty that people love!! I am always encouraged by that and your desire to serve the Lord in all you do! Love you friend!!
    Oh – I get Do It Yourself Network! 🙂 I’m going to set a reminder now so I can see your famous bathroom on tv :)!!

  • Kellie
    September 14, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Love the color of the brick – I too, have been desparately wanting to paint the brick on our house since we moved in 3 years ago. It is a very TALL house in some areas, so it will not be painted by ME, and therefore I’m sure it will cost LOTS of money, so waiting I am. I do love your colors – exactly what is in my little mind, but picking out those exact colors is a lot harder than I always think it will be, so if you’d like to share the colors – PLEASE DO!!!! I am in the middle of painting my entire kitchen – walls, cabinets, trim, everything – ALL BY MYSELF – and it’s quite a chore! I hope to have time to do a post about it once it’s complete! Thanks for sharing your heart – we are kindred spirits, we think so much alike!

  • Jennifer
    September 14, 2009 at 7:41 am

    The house looks awesome! I love the paint color.

  • Ashley Williams
    September 14, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Good Morning, D!
    Can’t wait to see the finished product of the house, and your post about prayer reminded me of my sweet Great Grandmother aka “Grandma Sherman” (My G’mother Brown’s mom). I’ll have to share her picture sometime (you’d enjoy it), but she had about the roughest life I can imagine, but basically what we remember that came out of her mouth ALL the time was “Thank You, Lord. Praise Jesus!” It was really ALL The time! She’d say “Thank you, Lord, for these twins. Praise God. Ohhhhhhhh…Thank you, Jesus!” I didn’t know she had such a hard life until we were much older, but trust me-she did. Thanks for reminding me this morning of how GOOD He is, and how we all need Him all the time!
    (Your house is really looking good too!)
    Love you, D!

  • Susie
    September 14, 2009 at 7:52 am

    No matter what you talk about, it is obvious you are a faithful person, and I admire that.
    I personally love your posts on DIY projects (ps, I don’t get the channel either) because I am currently fixing up a 50’s bungalow I bought a couple of months ago and am in the thick of it. That aside, I think you offer a sort of “escape” for people – if that makes sense. I often turn to blogs (of every kind) for an escape…from work, from people, from whatever. Keep it up; I love your blog.

  • Anne W
    September 14, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Darby, that was so well said. As always, I appreciate your candor, thoughtfulness, and ability to share the Gospel with us through your blog!

  • Hannah Fields
    September 14, 2009 at 8:19 am

    the more kids I have the more patience I loose. I have learned that I can do no good thing on my own. However I really want to be a good mother wife and friend. I am learning the same thing about prayer. I desperately need a savior. I desperately need the Spirit reminding me to be “patient , slow to anger and abound with love” I am a wicked sinner and the only good that comes out of me is from my Savior. During these last few weeks the Lord has given me patience and a soft answer for children. I am so thankful for the POWER of the Holy Spirit working through me sanctifying me daily. Thanks for sharing

  • Elizabeth
    September 14, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Darby,
    Thank you for being so honest and humble in your post.

    Because of the move, I don’t have internet at the house yet, which is probably a good thing because I have been getting so much stuff done. It’s amazing what all you can do without a computer or tv. Anyway, I’ve just been checking in with you at work. For some reason, I can’t see pictures on the computer there….I can just read. Can’t wait to get “connected” so I can see what you’ve done…..I’ve missed your blog the most. Can’t wait to actually see the house pics. I just love painted brick!

  • Becky Brodbeck
    September 14, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Love the new house and window color. Can’t wait to see it complete…it is going to be fabulous!

  • Christine
    September 14, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Just wondering what you are going to do with the old doors? They would make a really great headboard I think… I’m here all the time and I love to read about your home improvements and especially about your faith. It’s very helpful, and I think that God gives you the ability to connect with so many people and to spread his word with your blog, so keep those posts coming, no matter what the topic 🙂

  • Devon
    September 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

    D, that transformation is unreal! Gorgeous. I’m so amazed what you and your family get done in only a couple of weekends. You guys are inspiring! That comment about Rover (4 to 3.5 hours was dead on hilarious).

    In terms of your last few pargraphs, I don’t think I’m able to address the prayer comment made by the author, but I will say that your blog has created many friends throughout the world. Granted, we may be blogstalkers, but for those of us with busy lives and families, you’ve given us an outlet to connect with you and others when we wouldn’t otherwise have the time to do so. I feel like I have virtual pen pals everywhere and that connection means more to me than my past hobby of tuning out by watching tv. Perhaps it’s not so much about what you and I write, but more about what our writing brings to the lives of others?

  • Mandy Norris
    September 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Hey…the house looks great. I live in a similar style house in Mt. Pleasant SC and what you have done is what we have been doin too! I love your post about prayer. It is very touching to be reminded that we are completely lost and out of control and we do need Jesus. Our culture makes us think and want control over everything and “sells” us a lie that we are. I appreciate you sharing and good look with the house. I will pray an extra dose of patience for you and your family b/c I know that is what I needed during renovations! Have great day…Oh, we made your recipe of whoopie pies, but I did homemade cream cheese icing and they were so good. We also cut them out with cookie cutters (stars, hearts, etc…) and they were very cute! Thanks again for the recipe! Mandy

  • Jennifer Fanucci
    September 14, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Darby, Ya know what I love about your blog more than anything else? It’s your honesty. I love the pictures of Rover with the cereal flakes all over the place…and the crazy orange bathroom BEFORE pics…and the dirty PJ’s…and the messy face pics…it’s called REAL and it’s called LIFE. Soooo many blogs out there provoke jealousy because they are strictly fantastical. You see everything clean and in working order (not to mention people who are always smiling). It’s easy to get discouraged when I look at my own life and think…man, my life sure doesn’t look like that! I love that you share things like your latest prayer request. And Darby, that can’t get any more in tune with what God wants from us. Yes, there are people out there who are struggling with cancers and lost children and all types of family and personal struggles. We learn from them and we also learn from the basic everyday stuff. There is a place for learning about what to do to make our lives better… God calls us to live…and to spread his gospel…and to be honest and real… I sat in church yesterday and the sermon was on examining our faith. Our Pastor said…”God doesn’t expect perfection, he just asks that we’re headed in a new direction” We are all sinners in need of a Savior and praise the Lord, that you are a Christian and have such a platform as this to spread the good news! We’re ALL guilty of being judgmental and comparing ourselves to others and yelling at our husband and kids (oh boy do I :(). The only woman that I think that maybe doesn’t is Michelle Duggar…that woman is a saint! lol Anyway, please be encouraged Darby…the Lord is using you in all your human frailness to be an inspiration to those in need of that. Your day to day blogging about your beautiful home and even more beautiful children is precious! And your honesty in your weakness is icing on the cake! The Lord gave you your gifts and talents…your job is to share those gifts! 🙂 So keep up the good bloggin’ girl! Have a wonderful day!

  • Yevette
    September 14, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I loved this post! Your house renovations bring inspiration and hope for 50’s ranch-style house owners like me. I also appreciate your magnifying our great Saviour. Pray on!

  • Angel/TaDa! Creations
    September 14, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Loving those new front doors and I like your “castle” style. 😉

    Thank you for taking the time to say what is truly on your mind. I struggle with the same kinds of things (as I’m sure a lot of Moms do) and it was encouraging to hear from someone else that does too. I love your perspective.

  • PerfectlyPutTogether
    September 14, 2009 at 9:04 am

    What a lovely post! you are doing an amazing job on your home and it looks like you are all very busy! I don’t comment often but congrats to the new baby arrival. Your blog is very inspiring!

  • Adrian
    September 14, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I saw your bathroom remodel on DIY. We don’t usually get the channel but we’re getting a free 2 week preview right now. It looked great.

  • taylor
    September 14, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Perhaps sharing about your handrail appeals to someone who would never care to listen to a Christian. Then they read more and discover your faith and eventually call it their own. Just a thought. Christ went to parties, went to work, had dinners with friends- normal things yet he was always sharing his love and those around Him were changed.

  • paige
    September 14, 2009 at 9:17 am

    wow darby…that just might be one of my fave of your entries ever…i’ll be honest, as much as i love the blogging world it can be so easy to look at each other & covet, feel discouraged, compare, all the ‘wish i had her life sometimes’ thoughts.
    but i love your transparancy.
    i often look at your posts & think, this girlie really has it all together,everything so on track. i love that you want to keep it real, that you want to give him the glory.
    i can’t ramble any longer…but just wanted to say thank you
    wish you were an atlanta neighbor cuz i would want to be your friend…well, you know what i mean…friend outside of the blogland.

    xo
    paige

  • Meredith
    September 14, 2009 at 9:19 am

    darby,
    i believe it is your honesty that keeps your readers coming back for more! thank you for opening not only your life to us but also your inner struggles. you are such an inspiration. thank you!

    ps – the house looks great! can’t wait to see the finished product!

  • Laura
    September 14, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Well, I think your blog is such a blessing. I think Jesus shines through you even when you’re not speaking about Him directly, and I’m glad you share your life with us. 🙂

  • Jackie
    September 14, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Bless you, Darby!

  • Rebecca
    September 14, 2009 at 9:49 am

    What a perfect reminder. We are in the middle of a crazy move with so many unknowns (a job? a House? Anything?). The last few days I have really been struggling to trust His plan with all this. I’m terrible about spending time in The Word but the last two days blogs have had the scripture and insight with just what I needed. I need to be helpless before him. I need to pour out my heart and know that HE provides.

  • Sarah @ Clover Lane
    September 14, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Do you know what I love most about this post? Something so little…how your little guy, John Martin aka Rover, is just filthy dirty in that pic with the dog. It just cracks me up. That’s just about everyday of my life…you are “real”…you never have to worry about that. You inspire…that is your gift.

  • Nicole
    September 14, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Hello,
    I am a new reader, my husband and I are currently getting ready to start decorating our new house (we get the keys today), and a friend gave me the link to your blog for some great decor ideas! I too enjoy a good bargain and making something old ‘new’ again.
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I am so encouraged by your blog. I expected to find some fun decor ideas, but have found so much more. I love your boldness and transparency, and think it is amazing how the Lord can use a blog to, in a way, bring believers together who otherwise would have probably never come across one another.
    Anyway, a long winded way to say, “hello” and that I am really enjoying your blog 🙂

  • Sara
    September 14, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Have been reading your blog for a long time! We also bought a “fixer-upper,” have 3 little ones under the age of 5 (twin girls and a boy!), and love Jesus. So much in common. Just want to say that from the outside looking in, it is SO CLEAR that this blog is a ministry to many! That’s why it matters. May not seem like that, but just reread taylor’s comment above! On a personal note, I cannot tell you how many times I have felt exhausted and worn out from mommy duty only to pull up your blog and feel instantly encouraged. And I loved today’s post…I have been mulling over the vine passage in John…and, “You can nothing apart from me,” has been seared in my mind lately. So true…so hard to remember and flesh out. As for the house – AWESOME! Dying to know if you painted the brick yourself? If so, how hard, how long, etc? Can’t wait to hear more. I LOVE painted brick!!!

  • Jen
    September 14, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Darby,

    Amen Sister! We all fall short everyday but praise praise for our mighty Savior. I appreciate your realness on the blog and love to check in. You are using some of your many gifts to share with us all. What a motivator and inspiration you are for running your household. After all, aren’t we all just striving to be that Proverbs 31 woman? Keep on going, you are using your talents to His glory.

  • Kate
    September 14, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Thank You!

    For your honest thoughts. They really opened my eyes, yet again.

    He does indeed provide!

  • Melody
    September 14, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Darby,

    Thank you for being real. It is ironic because our sermon in church was on this very subject…I think the Lord is trying to tell me something!! Our pastor used scripture from Romans 7 starting with verse 7. He was talking about how we live in sin and we don’t even realize we are sinning. Our human nature is to be sinful. But, until we seek Christ in prayer and through reading his word, we will not be able to recognize our sins. We have to live in the light if we want to be the light. I love reading your blog and don’t think about everything you post having spiritual meaning. From your blog, you are bringing in people who don’t know Christ. Then, as you give snippets of yourself as a christian, they may inquire about it. I believe the Lord could use you in a mighty way for His Kingdom through this blog. I do like hearing that other moms get terribly frustrated with their children though. I have a 2 year old and another on the way. My son gives us a lot of attitude these days and it is hard not to get angry with him sometimes. But, I also know he doesn’t know what is right from wrong…it is our job to discipline and teach him…I just like knowing I am not the only one who loses it sometimes! : ) Thank you and God Bless!

  • Brandi
    September 14, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Bless you. This is one of my most favorite blogs to follow. The fact that you break things down to let all of us know your in some way or another just like us is so refreshing. Your posts glorifying God are such a bright spot as well. If you want to know the truth I have prayed to some day have a family like yours. You and yours are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Take care.. and I can’t wait to see more of the house renos.

  • Tara
    September 14, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I love your honesty. I cannot even bring myself to create a facebook page. I feel I will have to have a perfect image and say the right things. I play piano at church (way too much spotlight for me, but I do it b/c I was asked when he spot came open I had never played in church before. God gave me this talent, and now I use it to Glorify his name, In my young years –I wanted to be the piano player, so glamorous! But it is so much harder It is more of a minstry than I ever knew, I know first hand how a sinner can be a blessing to others by leading in worship. Don’t stop showing your reno’s or your beautiful kids or sharing new things you discover in the Word, do it for those of us who love to know we are not alone in our walk throughout the week.

    Bathtastic, we get DIY I think by accident, I will watch for your Old Hollywood Bath reno. That is way cool! I would love to do that Renovation Reality show, but then the world would have to see my unfinished imperfect house!!haha I can’t do it, Unless…God wants me to.

  • pam
    September 14, 2009 at 11:38 am

    darby…you are touching so many lives through your blog. anyone reading would know that the joy of the Lord shines through your writing and sharing your thoughts and family with us. i thank you for doing that and for your frankness…continue on both with your great home remodeling projects and your thoughts and insights..you are making a difference..thank you…

  • Mommasissy& Sloane
    September 14, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Hi Mommasissy,
    It’s Sloane. I’m pretty helpless, I can relate. Maybe you could come see me this weekend and kiss me!?
    I love you, your house, your heart, your love for the Lord, and your sharing with others.
    Can’t wait to see what Marla has to share, because Momma is wanting to take some pictures of me!!
    XOXO
    Sloane

  • Dianne
    September 14, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    God bless you Darby! You are such an inspiration.

  • adriene
    September 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    What a great reminder. Thanks.

  • Jessica
    September 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    The new doors look great! I am definitely watching that show, as I loved your girls’ bathroom makeover you did. Man are they going to pay you for that!?

  • Becky
    September 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I think it’s ok that I don’t realize you have imperfections on a daily basis because you inspire me to be better! When I see the pictures of your sweet kids and clean house, I imagine that it IS possible to have a seemingly perfect life and I strive for that.

    And I think a lot of us are truly interested in your outdoor renovations after seeing what you’ve done on the inside.

  • A Pau
    September 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Darby! Just wanted to introduce myself 🙂 I ventured onto your blog through your sister’s and have been blessed by it! It’s strange you mention Paul Miller’s book because our church just started reading it and it’s encouraging me to go and buy one myself! Helplessness is strangely, a wonderful place to be, as I’ve been learning lately but don’t feel helpless enough (as you said!).

    And PROPS for all the work you are doing on your home, it’s looking beautiful!

  • Stephanie
    September 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    My dear, I hope you know that your blog IS encouraging. It is uplifting, it is heartfelt, it is genuine, it is honest. Your faith and your love for your family come through so strongly in your writing. It is so obvious that you love the Lord, and so obvious that you love being a wife and mother–even on the tough days. Reading about your joy in the Lord has definitely had a huge impact on me–you made Jesus feel accessible to me again, when it had been years since I’d felt that way. Please do not doubt your gift to draw people closer to Jesus! You are blessed.

  • lindsey ozier
    September 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    amen sister!! darby, i love your heart. thank you for sharing.
    lindsey O

  • Tiffany
    September 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I believe it is something we all struggle with from time to time. Selfishness gets a hold of me all too often and it is hard to snap out of it and realize that we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. When God is our center and we are striving to honor Him, it is amazing to watch the blessings flow! : )

    Love what you are doing with your house! Wish I had the DIY network. So cool that your bathroom was featured on there!

  • Jenna
    September 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Darby, thank you for your honesty. And to all of what you said I give a resounding – amen! Much of what you said has been something the Lord has been teaching me as well. A dear older lady at our church shared with a small group of ladies about spiritual breathing. When we come to a situation and begin to feel frustrated, jealous, etc, we should stop and exhale the sin through confession, accept Christ’s forgiveness, and inhale His strength to do the right thing. Sounds a little crazy, but it’s not – this has been SO refreshing to me! It has made me more aware of my need for Him but keeps me from feeling defeated at the end of the day because I have already dealt with it! Praise the Lord for His graciousness to us!

    Oh – and I LOVE what you have done to your home! And really enjoy hearing all about it. God has given you a gift and many talents, and I think it can and does glorify the Lord when you share it with others.

  • Amanda
    September 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I just truly, completely, like you a lot. You are gorgeous, sure, your kids are model-beautiful, and it seems your husband can do/build/create anything, but what I like most is you seem truly and sincerely good – to your core. I love the example you set for us all as a mother, wife and child of God.

    Thanks.

    (And because I don’t want you to wonder, no, I don’t think you situate yourself as someone who tries to present to the world all the nice things I said about you above. You are absolutely humble, but all the other still shines through.)

  • Kaela
    September 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing from your heart. It can’t always be sunshine and roses. How unfair if we only blog about the good.

  • Victoria
    September 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Love the house redo! It’s amazing what paint can do to mismatched brick. I cannot wait to see a picture of the whole front.

    Enjoyed your comments on prayer and your humility.

  • Caroline
    September 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you. For sharing your victories (i.e., taping off the windows…) and your struggles (i.e., wrestling with what to do with this blog audience). Both are beautiful. Probably because they are honest and expressed with humility and a sense of humor.

  • shannon
    September 14, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    this could be my favorite post ever. and not because of the house renovations or your lovely children (even though both of those are beautiful). i love the realness.

    i, like you, have an incredibly difficult time being weak and casting everything onto the Lord. i’m not sure why (prob b/c i am selfish and think i can do it all on my own). but that post was so authentic and raw and i loved every second of it.

    one of my favorite verses in the bible is 2 corinthians 12:9, especially when it says “my power is made perfect in weakness”. my heart knows that is true. my head tries to tell me different.

    thank you for that heartfelt post. that book will be added to my list for sure. and thanks for being so real. it’s awesome to know there are amazing Godly women out there who struggle with the same thing.

  • Carol
    September 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Darby, Thank you so much for your transparency. It is a gift. I’m so proud of you and I know that God is too! Keep on bloggin’! We’ll keep on reading!

  • Michele
    September 14, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Darby…love* it all! Transparency is what makes a blog a blessing. Your ability to share your life-tantrums, messes, sleep deprivation, nonstop nursing, and teething included- is a service to your readers. It allows me to remember that I am, too, weak in my own power and that no one has it all together. Remembering that helps me to turn the Lord and keep my focus on my walk with him. And that allows me to be that person for someone else. Thank you. By the way, A Praying Life is awesome.

  • jeana
    September 14, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Darby, just want to say how much this blog entry blessed me… but first of all, YOUR sweet little Sloane is AMAZING. Congratulations to all of you!!

    Thank you for your transparency towards the end. What a wonderful reminder that we are not alone in these struggles… and that our weaknesses before Him make us strong. I needed to hear that. Thank you friend.

    Love you all!!

  • Stacy
    September 14, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Loved this post! Loved hearing about your renovations and I love to hear God speaking through you! So glad I found your blog!

  • Rachel
    September 14, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I often, okay not often, 98%, okay all of the time struggle with the same thing. Thank you for being honest and keeping it real. I’d also love to give you some encouragement & tell you to not EVEN BEGIN to be embarrassed and think twice. Your transparency is what makes you and this blog so beautiful and thought provoking, to begin with. Praise The Lord for that! And praises to Him who allows others to speak to us with the very thing that we should be spurred to do, and to not have to go through such a painful circumstance to get there. Thank you and Thank Him!

  • angela
    September 15, 2009 at 7:20 am

    This post was so well put and EXACTLY why yours is my very favorite blog.

  • kristen
    September 15, 2009 at 10:18 am

    darby,
    i recently discovered your amazing blog and have been so hooked ever since!! my friend just forwarded it to me just because of your incredible love for God and your fantastic ability to do everything!!! you are so talented!!!
    thank you so much for your gorgeous blog and your sweet honesty in it. it is so refreshing to see someone who loves the Lord with all her heart and still also loves to decorate her house, be a fun mom who also gets frustrated with her kids (and husband) and loves sewing, baking, cooking, etc…all the things i love!! also your mixed feelings of wondering if your blog is helping or hurting your focus on yourself and on Him is something that i know i struggle with and so do so many other women. but you dont just worry about it, you do something about it. you tell us what you are feeling and you are open about it and ministers to everyone. you make your blog a place for His glory and I know that it has moved me to prayer times and confessions that i didn’t even realize i needed to confess before i read your blog! sometimes its a mini devotional!! i love it!! anyway, please dont stop blogging or worry that He is not glorified with how you portray Him, your fam and yourself. thank you so much for letting us into your lives and your heart.

  • Lisa
    September 15, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Darby – your honestly in the last two paragraphs made this post. Not that the house transformations aren’t beautiful. But your sentiment is beauty AND helplessness in its purest form. Amazing!

  • Jennifer
    September 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I love what you are doing around your house! The exterior changes are amazing! The front doors made me drool. You must love the light that streams in now that the heavy castle doors are gone. All of the tedious painting will be so worth it. I can’t wait to see more!

  • Pink Wallpaper
    September 16, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I love the color combo that your selected. It looks awesome! Your hard work definitely paid off!!

  • Real Design
    September 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Are you going to paint the chimney?

  • whitney
    September 16, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I love those doors! Where are they from?

  • Jennifer
    September 17, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Darby,

    Both my friend and I just posted thoughts similar to yours about our purpose for blogging. Ironically, we hadn’t spoken to each other about it, and we posted on the subject in the same week.

    Blogging is a joy for me (and her, and you!). I know the Lord loves for us to experience joy, and I believe it pleases him to see women of faith striving to be real and honest in their pursuit of joy, while still staying firmly rooted in Him.

    Thank you for making your faith – and your reality – an integral part of your blog.

  • edie
    September 18, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Dear Darby,
    I’m a fairly new follower of your blog and I am inspired by your beautiful family, your gorgeous photography, your sense of style and your willingness to share your faith. I’ve struggled with the narcissistic element of blogging and have wondered if its’ possible to do it ‘to the glory of God’. Last year, I disabled my comments section for Lent and learned a lot about myself in the process. This medium of blogging is not neutral and we must learn to navigate its’ pitfalls. That said, I’ve never met more talented genuine faithful christians than I’ve met here online. You (and others like you) pave a way to authenticity and honesty that makes it easier for us all to live in vulnerability and humility toward God. Not to mention the wonderful inspiration we get from painted brick and orange bathrooms! Thank you for sharing, thank for opening your life and heart to us. And may God teach us all to live in repentance as the very breath we breathe.
    Hugs,
    edie

  • Melissa
    September 22, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I am way behind on my commenting! Love the house renovations! I started to drive by this past weekend just to get a peek of the progress! I don’t know how you do it! I’m still struggling with my master bathroom, and that was supposed to be a “simple” project! Please, please, please know that you are such an inspriation to so many people! You keep it real and let us know we’re not the only ones struggling to get it all done! Keep sharing your faith…you have no idea what kind of seeds you may be planting in someone’s heart.

  • Carla
    September 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Your blog is beautiful. Your family is gorgeous and your words are inspiring. Your house is absolutely fabulous, but it is your honesty and faithfulness that really impresses me. I love love love your blog!!! May God continue to bless you and your lovely family.

    BTW, what’s the color of the paint you are using for the brick. Gorgeous!!!

  • Donna
    November 8, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing…so many women (myself included) can totally relate! I love that you switch from renovating to prayer…I think that is the way God intended it to be…to share Him in our everyday, ordinary conversations…so glad I found your blog!